Hi this is my first attempt at WordPress

Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my new blog! This is just an introductory post so I’ll keep it short and sweet.

I decided to start a blog because I [what inspired you start a blog?]

Over the next few months I plan to be writing and sharing posts about [what topics will you be writing about?]

That’s it for now! If you’d like to be kept updated with my posts “Like” this post or subscribe to my blog.


“There and Back Again” (remix style)

Happy Thursday everyone, I have to say that getting back into the groove of researching has been such a good feeling this past week. I never realized that transitioning back into “student” mode after a year long hiatus would be so challenging, but it’s all starting to feel right again. So, this is my blog. Welcome. Here I’m plan on outlining my research throughout the semester. As of right now (10:48am on Thursday the 4th of September) my idea is this: Watching the Aaron Swartz documentary really made me realize that while I embrace the idea of Open Access, I’ve never really taken the time to look into what it’s all about, whose supporting it, how it has evolved over time, etc. So this first week, that is what I’m going to do. From there, I am going to hone in on what is going on in the community of “Digital Pedagogy”, meaning I want to get myself up to date with some of the practices that other educators/students are experiences in terms of how digital platforms are being used in a classrooms setting. I’ll spend about two weeks on this topic and then transition (YET AGAIN) to researching what I really want to know; how are we utilizing gaming (specifically MMO’s) or other digital modes of education (like google glasses) to move our education system forward. Boom! Plan….kind of…Ok so in all honesty, these next few weeks are a trial run. There is a very large possibility that I scratch this idea and go a different direction. However, this is how I landed on this current idea (yes I’m going to tell you because it is my blog and I can tell you what I want to…tehe). Over this past year of not being a full-time student and working/doing homework in my spare time, I became reacquainted with one of my all time favorite pastimes: gaming.  More specifically, I was able to experience a new genre of gaming known as MMO (massively multiplayer online game). I slowly began to engage in League of Legends Community, World of Warcraft Community, and (my favorite) the Final Fantasy: A Realm Reborn Community. I will say that, like every community, there are positive aspects to the online gaming community, and there are some very negative aspects. For some of the games, the community embraced those who were entering into a new community of practice (i.e. novice = noob). And other games had created a culture that downright bullied and tore down those who just starting out. I soon found myself leaving these more toxic communities, and only returning to them when I could play with a group of friends that I knew were encouraging and supportive. So what did I learn from this and why does it matter? I learned that my gaming experience was driven by the community that I built within these worlds, which led me to wonder, why aren’t we bringing MMO’s into the classroom so that students can not only build a positive community base, but also so they can “experience learning” instead of just “forcing learning”. For example, when I entered into a world where I could both develop myself as an individual AND reach out to a support system when I needed help, I was more driven to keep questing and move forward with the plot of the game. Even when our group lost a fight, the attitude wasn’t negative, it was “Okay everyone, let’s make another strategy and try it again”. Why can’t all students experience this attitude in the classroom?!?!?! So yes, this is essentially what I’m trying to look at. This notion of digital community and learning. So, if ya’ll want to see how I plan to tackle this thing, I have re-mixed Kim’s calendar into my own device and plan on updating it as my research moves forward. CLICK HERE to see it. More to come friends! GO team! 2cf9cbe87655ba4f88bda6992d340c55

#Hello Digital World

Hello! My name is Cisco Arriola  and I am currently a second year graduate student at Chico State. I am really excited to be part of Dr. Kim Jaxon’ seminar: Digital Cultures and Literacies.  I’m looking forward to learn more about how digital world can helps us teach and engage students for this technological rich society.

Being apart of the connected learning course is very exciting and excellent way to exchange/share knowledge. I am very excited to see what this class has to offer the rest of the semester.

Cisco


Plans for the semester…

Hi all. Boy, if I’m going to get this “academic web presence” spoken of last week, I am going to have to change my name, trying to register domains related to “Mark Smith” just doesn’t work out well. I do have two middle names that I could deploy, but that seems pretentious so I should probably just change my name to Excelliadon Superiorisoph… This may have the added benefit of affording me entry into the insular communities of Mirkwood as well… For now, I have dug deep into my array of nicknames and at last alighted upon a suitable pseudonym.

With introductions out of the way it is time to start thinking about “plans” for the semester. My plan for coming up with a plan is to muse through it in this post, and hopefully by the end of it some thoughts will have crystallized into actionable items.

One thing is for certain, I want to make sure that the work and production involved in this class serves and/or is used in my Thesis which, ojalá, will be done this semester… Fortunately it seems like a lot of the angles taken in this course dovetail quite nicely with my thesis project, so this may in fact be possible.

The subtitle for this particular special topic, Digital Cultures is quite fortuitous for me because my thesis research is geared entirely towards examining the intersection of digital and, (boy do we still call it analog?) cultural spaces. Specifically the way in which participation on webforum communities can influence or interact with a persons identity, lifestyle, capabilities, etc, outside of that space. So I’d like to use this class in part to examine the rate at which identity construction in one space bleeds through to the other… How much of our online persona do we carry into offline interactions? How much of our offline persona, co-constructed through a million painful childhood embarrassments, do we jettison the moment we go online? Is there profitability to be found in adjusting those measurements throughout our lives? Is it possible to use online spaces as a sort of “dry-dock” to intentionally reconstruct sections of your overall identity, before pushing the retrofitted product back into the sea of everyday life? If the “dry-dock” scenario is a possibility, what advantages does it offer over trying to do the same sort of reconstruction tasks while “at sea” so to speak? Is their a benefit to be gained in utilizing a separate (but connected), specialized community for this sort of work?

Here are some of my initial ideas for things to do that will be useful and learny, presented in bullet point form:

-One way I am interested in leveraging this course towards my thesis is in using the connections (our learning is so connected here!) built in the course to reach out to more interview subjects… This seems like an excellent opportunity to interview a diverse group of people about how their experience in an online community supporters their identities as learners, their learning process, and their sense of community membership. It could be particularly interesting to see if people notice significant contrasts between what we could call insular learning (traditional classes) and this crazy mooc-connected thing we are trying here. Will there be unforeseen drawbacks to this approach? Hidden benefits? Candy? So that is one thing: moar data!

-Poking through the digital resources section of the course site, I am definitely drawn towards the Rheingold article, this seems like it could fit in nicely and perhaps be a jumping off point towards other readings. Of course I won’t know that for sure until I read it, but for a first self-assigned reading you can’t beat 6 pages with pictures. From reading the big colorful excerpts, it seems like this could be useful in drawing the contrast between online and offline communities/socialization/persony-stuff.

-I’m also overdue on reading “Identity and Agency in Cultural Worlds” by Holland and a bunch of other people, so this would be a good place perhaps to read about that and consolidate my thoughts/reactions in blog form. Perhaps using the blogs to connect the book’s material to this digital/online angle that my project and our course are taking.

So that is a start at least… More to come soon!


E.T.! It’s Working! #ConnectedCourses

 I am thrilled about the upcoming launch of the Connected Course September 15. Our hope for the course is that we will be able to network and support each other as we imagine and take advantage of the potential of the open web. While I promise a longer (and more thoughtful) blog post soon addressing the reasons I will be participating, I wanted to quickly post the course link and share the resources available for those of you interested in joining us. Check out the great pre-course blogging support provided by Alan Levine, Jim Groom, and Howard Rheingold:

More soon! And thank you to the colleagues working on this endeavor!